Urban strategic planning and local governments are essential tools to implement local economic development. It can more prominently enable equity and inclusive development with some planning and policy tools at the local level. The panel discusses two important subjects that are regarding ‘Public space’ and ‘intermediary cities’ and their role to implement LED.
Public space is a concrete catalyst to be highlighted on the global agenda and the processes towards Habitat III. Public space is a key local level initiative to provide quality space for local economy and sustainability, whereby also provides fiscal management space to include informal activities.
Furthermore, open and public spaces within the city can serve a multitude of functions, including climate change adaptation, and is being considered an integral component when planning for resilience. Intermediary cities are uniquely situated to work jointly with rural neighbourhoods, communities and workers to foster decent jobs and reinforce exchanges between the agricultural areas and the economic centre.
These intermediate centres can reduce transportation costs by becoming urban-rural mobility links and have greater potentials for sustainable development. Since rural areas are underdeveloped in regards to services such as markets and urban facilities they become providers for access to hospitals, healthcare, and supplements of finished goods.
Thus they can enable a form of decentralisation at territorial planning; however it is essential to empower the local governments to take decisions regarding specific economic potentials that need to be channelized so that the economy benefits the local citizens.